A New York mother beat her malnourished daughter, four, with a belt and force-fed her sleeping pills, a Brooklyn court was told yesterday.
Carlotta Brett-Pierce, who was arrested after her daughter Marchella Pierce was found dead weighing just 15lbs, allegedly gave the child bloody beatings after she crept out of bed at night for food.
On September 1, the day before Marchella’s death, an enraged Brett-Pierce tied her daughter to her cot with a length of twine after she made a mess while getting a late-night snack, according to prosecutor Tracy Downing.
Marchella had bruises all over her body which were ’caused by blunt force’, the court heard.
It is also alleged Brett-Pierce force-fed the four-year-old sleeping pills to halt her ‘wild’ behaviour.
A witness is said to have told police that Brett-Pierce beat her weak and helpless daughter ‘repeatedly’.
A plastic video case stained with blood was found at Brett-Pierce’s squalid Brooklyn apartment, the court heard.
Brett-Pierce, 30, faces charges including assault and endangering the welfare of the child.
If Marchella’s death is ruled a homicide, Brett-Pierce could face murder charges.
Prosecutor Tracey Downing said: ‘The mother tied up the child because she would get up in the night and eat food… and make a mess.’
Pierce, who smiled at her mother when she was led into the courtroom, insists she is innocent.
Yesterday she told reporters: ‘I did not kill my baby!’
Brett-Pierce said she had checked on her daughter at 4am and she had been okay.
She found her ‘unresponsive and with cold hands’ at 6.30am and tried to revive her, calling 911 after 45 minutes.
Marchella’s father, Tyrone Pierce, said he found out about his daughter’s death at around 9am.
He added that she had been born prematurely, weighing just 1lb 4.6oz, and had been in four hospitals since her birth.
He said: ‘My sister told me that my daughter had passed and I rushed over there. I tried to go into the building to see what was going on. The officers grabbed me and told me I had to come with them.’
Court-appointed defence lawyer George Sheinberg said his client was ‘not charged with homicide.
‘The autopsy did not indicate any kind of trauma… at this point it is extremely inconclusive’.
Brett-Pierce did not speak in court yesterday. She was bailed for $300,000 and is due back on September 9. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1309191/Mother-dead-15lb-daughter-4-force-fed-child-sleeping-pills-beat-belt-court-told.html?ito=feeds-newsxml#ixzz0yklmOEhW